CBS Greenlights Its First Black Daytime Soap Opera In 35 Years

Despite The Hollywood Reporter stating that “soap operas have become a dying breed,” CBS Studios has sent out a formal series order for The Gates — its first Black daytime soap opera in 35 years.

The network announced on Monday (April 15) that the new series will center around “a wealthy Black family in a posh, gated community” and is set to debut in January 2025.

The series pickup comes one month after CBS partnered with the NAACP to develop The Gates.

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The Gates will be everything we love about daytime drama, from a new and fresh perspective,” said Sheila Ducksworth, president of the CBS Studios/NAACP venture, back in March when development of the show was first announced. “This series will salute an audience that has been traditionally underserved, with the potential to be a groundbreaking moment for broadcast television. With multi-dimensional characters, juicy storylines and Black culture front and center, The Gates will have impactful representation, one of the key touchstones of the venture. I’m excited to develop this project with CBS and P&G, two of the longest and most passionate champions of broadcast and daytime television, and the NAACP, whose enduring commitment to Black voices and artists is both powerful and inspiring.”

Michele Val Jean, who wrote over 2,000 episodes of The Bold & the Beautiful and General Hospital, will serve as The Gates‘ showrunner. The last Black soap opera to debut on daytime was in 1989 with NBC’s Generations, which also was reportedly the first U.S. soap opera to focus on a Black family. Fox’s Empire also received credit, but it was widely regarded as a primetime soap.

Currently, only three daytime soap operas remain on air: The Young & the RestlessBold & the Beautiful, and General Hospital. Days Of Our Lives moved from NBC to Peacock in September 2022 and ABC cancelled All My Children and One Life to Live in 2011. The Young & The Restless was renewed for four more seasons this past March.

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